Intro to Trad

This 2-day course introduces climbers to the art of climbing natural (unbolted) routes. Trad is the purest form of climbing. The emphasis is on problem solving and critical thinking skills – both of which are necessary to engage traditionally protected routes. Participants must have sport leading experience and be comfortable on the rock.


Comfortable Hiking with a Light Pack

Comfortable Climbing 5.8 – 5.9 on Top-Rope

Lead Belay Trained

Course Outline

Types of Gear (Passive and Active)

Proper Placement on Rock Quality Evaluation

Run of the Rope

Building Anchors

Racking Gear

The Art of Falling

Mock Lead Practice

Day 1


Demo Climb

Preparing and Racking

Gear Placements


Practice Session

Gear Anchors and Belaying

Day 2

Belaying from Above

Risk Assessment

Rope Management

Getting Down

Practice Session


Required Gear

Personal Climbing Gear (Shoes, Harness, Belay Device, etc.)

Trad Rack

If you do not own a trad rack, we can supply gear during the course.

Supplied Gear

Trad Rack (Cams, Stoppers, Hexes, etc.)

Alpine Draws

Anchoring Materials

PDF Outline of the Course Content with Links to Additional Resources

Participants are responsible for transportation, food, and lodging.


Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Arkansas


This advanced course is limited to a maximum of three climbers.

1 : 1 – $600 per Participant

2 : 1 – $500 per Participant

3 : 1 – $400 per Participant